Growing A Garden

There is nothing more heartwarming to me than watching my daughter learn and grow. I could compare her to a wildflower or maybe a prickly but sweet raspberry plant, but guys… she’s a whole dang garden. And everyone else is too.

Her second birthday is right around the corner and I’ve picked up some gardening supplies and little book about gardening for her as a gift. I am beyond excited for her to receive them and help start the upcoming season’s growth. Though almost two, she is no stranger to harvesting goodies from our garden or getting covered in dirt.

Last year, we planted a wildflower garden for her. We gave out seeds as a party favor for her first birthday (a tradition we will carry on this year) and planted any of the leftover seeds. She’d help me water them every day and patiently wait to stomp in the puddles as the water seeped from the bottom of the flower pot.

While watering her flowers last year, a beautiful white butterfly began floating around and her pure little one year old soul simply said “hi.” She wanted to strike up conversation with a butterfly. This purity with nature is the very basis of what I want to instill in her.

When our vegetables took growth, her ready little hands would help me harvest the morning picks – sometimes a little prematurely. She’s quick when it comes to tomato picking, so we had a fair share of green tomatoes sitting in the windowsill soaking up sun and trying to ripen without their vine. She loved it every bit of it. She’d even do a little happy dance as we headed outside every single day.

If you look at her bookcase, you’ll see a lot of nature, farming, and gardening books. This is no mistake. If I teach her anything it’ll be that nature is the most important thing in life and learning to grow your own vegetables is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself.

My dream is that even if she becomes a busy career woman or a stay at mom is that she’ll always have a certain respect for nature. I want Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle to be apart of her daily life. I pray that she is never the type to litter. I hope she has respect and love for all animals, plants, and trees.

Gardening, even at such an early age, is a beautiful introduction to nature. It teaches her patience and shows her that all things start small. A small seed can one day be a huge oak tree. I want her to learn that the world is ever-changing and you can grow through anything that you go through.

It’s a lesson I hope she learns young, but for those of you who are adults, it’s still a lesson you can adapt into yourselves. You don’t have to start gardening or talking to butterflies. Just start with 5 minutes a day to really stop and appreciate nature and all that it has to offer.

Grow through what you go through

Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers

I know what you came here for and if you are anything like me then scrolling through a ton of texts & photos for a recipe is super disappointing – especially if the page keeps reloading. So I’ll make this easy!

TA-DA

Look at that! I made a recipe template. Oh, and there is the recipe. Keep scrolling for photos and all that text that I initially saved you from!

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you are more than aware that my food photography needs some SERIOUS work. For those of you that are new here…. well I’m sorry ?

We recently purchased a learning tower for the kitchen so CJ can help me cook. It safely puts her right up to the counter height. She helped me dice the onion and tomatoes for this recipe and insisted on trying raw onion. Her 23 month old taste buds were less than impressed.

She is also pretty obsessed with my DSLR. It’s got quite the mileage on it being a Canon Rebel t3i, so I do let her play with it from time to time. I’m not too worried because it is getting much older and I’m honestly day dreaming about a new camera. My husband is probably thinking “keep dreaming” as he reads this, I’m sure.

There is a shot of her cute little hand helping me to arrange a semi post worthy shot.

The learning tower is a lot of fun for both of us though. Her willingness to try food while we are up there prepping together has really improved. I can’t get her to eat a tomato in her high chair, but at the counter she’ll gladly eat extra pieces of the tomatoes as we dice them. She also gets a close up view of the clean up process. She has taken to wiping the counters down while I rinse the dishes.

I’m really hoping to engrain cooking into her. I didn’t learn how to cook as a kid and had to dive in after marriage. I’m hoping CJ will have those kitchen skills or just the general knowledge of where her food comes from & what she’s putting into her body. My dream is that she won’t grow up to live on ramen & takeout…. so I’m starting her young!

If you have made it this far and didn’t skip out post-recipe, I am truly appreciative of your dedication! I hope you enjoy the recipe! They were very delicious and we can’t wait to eat the leftovers.

Goal Setting

I want to talk to you about goal setting.

In 2017, I had set out to accomplish all of these personal & home related goals even though I had just had a baby that March – Followed by my husband leaving for work for several months in a row! At the time, it was just me, a 4 month old, a dog & a long list of To-Do’s. I accomplished none of it. I felt overwhelmed just thinking about buying paint and moving furniture with the two curious critters in tow.

Now it is 2019. I accomplished about half of my list in 2018 before adding to it for this year. I’m about to put the finishing touches on our laundry room (pictured below w/ fresh paint), which has been one of the bigger items on the list. I’m feeling super accomplished right now, even though it’s not quite finished.

So why did I give you insight to my total goal-flub? Because I want to remind you that you are a beautiful and talented human being and it’s okay if you don’t tackle your huge to do list right this second. You’ll get there. Some things take time. Maybe you weren’t absolutely ready to conquer those goals, but in a year or two, you will be. The important thing is to not give up, but at the same time… enjoy the now without stressing about the need to-do.

In the time that I didn’t accomplish my goals, I got to enjoy watching my daughter grow into the hilarious, but stubborn almost 2 year old that she is. I was there for my dog when she suddenly got sick and passed away. I learned more about gardening, nature, and an individuals impact on the environment. I rekindled my relationship with my husband when he finally returned and together we set new goals, while accomplishing some of the old ones.

My main message here is to set your goals, but live your life.

Crash & Burn

“What? Krista this is only your 5th blog post. How dare you say crash & burn? You haven’t even tried.”

I assure you that I’m not giving up. I’ve dug myself into a creative slump. I have ideas, topics, and even half-written drafts that I want to share with you all, but little motivation to accomplish them.

Out of everything I want to share, I’ve decided to talk to you about anxiety. I know… it’s a serious subject for a 5th blog post, but it’s an important one.

I have anxiety.

Now who saw that coming? Right… so I have safety anxiety, which was a term that a behavioral doctor used with me. I don’t know if it’s a thing or if she was just trying to help me label it. Basically, I’m always stressing over safety.

When I go out in public, I stress about knowing where all of the exits are in case of emergency. When a stranger walks too close to me for too long, I begin to panic over what their intentions are. At night, I have to talk myself off a ledge and convince myself that my house is not going to burn down and no one is trying to break in. We determined that there are events in my past that do cater to the why of my anxiety.

Someone told me once that it was all in my head. I laughed out loud and said “well you are not wrong.” While my doctor was going over grounding procedures, she reiterated this idea. It IS in your head. Your brain doesn’t know that these things are not happening as you are thinking & stressing about them. Your brain is sending signals to the rest of your body to alert them of the idea you are dwelling on. So your body feels on edge because your brain feels on edge.

She gave me tips to help ground myself when my thoughts start wandering off the paved path of normalcy. So why have I been a little behind on posting? My anxiety has been very high lately. I haven’t been sleeping very well and when I’m awake, my brain is working overtime.

I simply crashed and burned.

I started 2019 with all of these hopes & goals. And then our household dynamic shifted, which caused my anxiety to skyrocket. All I ask is that my new readers be patient while I work to pull myself together. I’ll be back very soon with home projects, recipes, gardening, fun posts, and more. I just need to work on me first.

Gift From The Sea

This book is a mystery to me – literally. My daughter plucked it from the bookcase and handed it to me. Gift From The Sea? Where did this book come from? I asked my husband and he wasn’t sure either. Oh well. I’m a strong believer in fate.

So I cracked it open. I always like to open a book in the middle and read a page before I decide if I’m going to read the whole thing. I was intrigued, so I determined that this book will be the first of hopefully many that I’d read in 2019.

What I didn’t know was that this book was exactly what I needed to read. From a vacation to the sea into the pages of this book, Anne Morrow Lindbergh provided thought provoking messages about relationships, marriage, finding peace in solitude, and balancing obligations we may carry on our shoulders.

In this non-fiction quick read, Anne takes us to the ocean. Each chapter is named for a shell she has found on her walk along the shore. These shells are symbols for different obligations that the author is currently pondering.

It was a humbling reminder that we, as women, shouldn’t lose ourselves in the role we are meant to play. Women have come such a long way, much further than when this book was published back in 1955. Yet we still struggle in the role of “the woman.” A role often portrayed as the ultimate home maker.

I would bet that this book caused a little uproar when it was first published. I found it to either be ahead of it’s time or possibly just still so relevant in the obstacles that women face daily.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any woman who is trying to find or re-discover herself in the throes of her marriage, motherly duties, or general life. It’s easy to lose ourselves in the daily hustle, but it’s imperative that we remember who we are.

Dreaming of Warmth

It has been snowing quite a bit in the last week. As someone who just spent 40 minutes shoveling the driveway, I can honestly say I’m ready for the days of rain that Spring tends to conjure up.

Our backyard after the first snow.

Don’t get me wrong. I do love how beautiful the snow is. I love crunching the ice below my boots, sledding, and snowball fights. I would just rather not have to clear my driveway in 8 degree weather. At least the sun was out.

The real terror comes when the roads are too dangerous to drive, so I find myself attempting to entertain my toddler for two days straight. I think she feels the same way because she’s actually letting my write this instead of trying to type with me.

What are some of your favorite activities with the tiny humans when you are snowed in?

We usually color, draw on a chalkboard, practice shape and color identification, snack on cookies, watch movies, play with CJ’s ever growing collection of cars & trucks, read books, snack some more, play trains, dance & sing, shoot hoops in the living room, work on problem solving activities (sliding pipe cleaners through strainers, etc), play trains, tidy up, work floor puzzles, watch the squirrels & birds outside, more snacking, more reading… We need some fresh ideas.

I’m tempted to let her paint, but I dread the mess. Plus, she’s usually more interested in organizing the paint supplies than painting. She’s definitely my kid. Maybe I could introduce her to Harry Potter… Is it too soon though? Maybe I’ll wait another year or so before I try to peak her interest in it.

So let me know, either here or in my instagram stories, what are your favorite indoor activities with the littles?

Flexing Creative Muscles

I’ve been working on finding myself. I’ve always been a creative person – and that’s not me tooting my own horn. I tend to decompress by flexing my creative muscles, which is something I haven’t been able to easily do since stepping into the mom life.

So I created this blog and joined an amazing group called the Dayton Creative Community. I attended an event the other night hosted by MamaInOveralls and got to meet a lot of fantastic women.

Dayton Creative Community

It was a cozy night of dinner, awesome swag, and networking. I’m very excited to see where this group goes and what milestones I’ve hit by the end of the year. One of our activities for the evening was to create or share our goals for 2019 – the only catch is that instead of a huge impossible list, we picked one word.

S/O to Silver Mountain Jewelry Co for contributing this beautiful jewelry as a prize!

Wellness

Everyone picked their own word and Wellness is the only word that really stuck to me. I want 2019 to focus overall on wellness. Spiritually, mentally, physically, financially, creatively…. you get it.

So I’m curious – do you have goals for the year? Have you boiled your list down to one word or are you checking them off line by line?